Graduate Urban Design

How to Apply

Admission to the master of urban design (MUD) program is competitive and selective.  The program is a post-professional degree that requires a core understanding of environmental design, design thinking, and relationships between sites, people, and contexts.  Applicants for the program must hold a degree in architecture, civil engineering, historic preservation, landscape architecture, or urban planning or demonstrate equivalent achievement through a combination of experience and education. 

Applicants must be admitted to Ball State’s Graduate School and be accepted by the coordinator of the urban design program.

Admission decisions will be mailed by April 1 to those who apply and submit all required materials prior to this deadline.  All who wish to be considered for the limited number of graduate assistantships must meet this preferred deadline.

Those who miss the preferred application deadline may still apply up to 4 weeks before the start of the fall semester and will be considered on a space-available basis.  The typical review process takes 2 to 4 weeks from the time you are accepted by the university and we receive all supplemental materials, and decision letters will be mailed on a revolving basis. 

Admission Criteria
Admission is determined on the basis of your individual qualifications and satisfactory performance on all required materials. The program requires an undergraduate cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 for the second half of your baccalaureate education. Graduate assistants must maintain a 3.0 GPA. If your GPA is below these requirements, you may be admitted with probationary status based on GRE scores and other criteria, and you must achieve a 3.0 GPA for unrestricted admission. See Ball State’s equal opportunity and affirmative action policy.

Application Process
You may apply for admission online. The graduate application fee is $50. The application fee may be paid by credit card or e-check immediately after submitting the online application.

First-time applicants to Ball State must request one official transcript from the institution that granted your baccalaureate degree and each institution attended for undergraduate and graduate work. Ask the registrar at each institution to send your transcripts to the Graduate School, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306

The following required supplemental materials must be submitted electronically directly to the urban design coordinator at the address below.  The MUD program does not require GRE scores (unless required by the Graduate School) and does not require letters of recommendation.

  1. Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  2. Statement of Professional Intent: This required letter must express your interest in pursuing the urban design degree and profession.
  3. Portfolio of Professional/Academic Work: A portfolio is a collection of examples of previous professional or academic work and may include professional writing, drawings, photos of work, artistic work, publications, or awards. The purpose of this portfolio is to demonstrate your understanding of the built environment and is the most critical component of the admission decision process. Some tips for what the review committee is looking for include:
    • Good analytical skills that demonstrate a process by which a design problem was analyzed and a solution derived.
    • Strong communication skills in physical graphics, including hand graphics.
    • Understanding of the basic patterns of the physical environment, including streets, buildings, and open spaces, and perhaps most importantly, the relationship among them.
    • Foundational understanding of urbanism, including an understanding of how a site relates to and responds to its context.
    • Understanding of three-dimensional space (beyond 2-D, plan-view graphics).
    • Understanding of and response to layers of issues that pertain to a particular site, such as how environmental, social, contextual, and economic factors impact a site/project and how a design responds to them. 
  4. Writing Sample:  A maximum 4 page writing sample from your undergraduate or professional work showing your ability to analyze, propose, and reflect on design opportunities.
The maximum file size for any submitted item is 10mb.  If emailing several large files, please limit each individual email to 10mb.  Submit all supplemental materials electronically to  If items must be mailed, please mail them to:

Ball State University

College of Architecture and Planning

Attn: Michel Mounayar

Muncie, IN 47306

International Students
Students who are not U.S. residents must apply for admission to Ball State through the Rinker Center for International Programs instead of the Ball State Graduate School. Credits from secondary schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions outside the U.S. must be evaluated by the Rinker Center staff before acceptance. International applicants must still submit the curriculum vitae/resume, statement of professional intent, and portfolio of professional work to the urban design coordinator as described above. 


If you have any questions regarding the application requirements, process, or schedule, please contact Michel Mounayar, Professor of Architecture.